The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies says the South African government has prioritized investment and mineral beneficiation due to its capacity to grow the economy and create jobs. Minister Davies was speaking at the South African Mining Investment Roundtable that took place on the margins of the Mining Indaba in Cape Town.
The purpose of the roundtable which was organized by the South African government was to provide potential investors from targeted countries with the opportunity to interact with the South African political and business leadership in order to obtain firsthand information on the issues relating to the South African mining environment. Investors from various countries including Canada, United States of America, India, Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, Australia, United Kingdom and Russia attended the roundtable.
“The beneficiation of our minerals is one of the most critical issues that we as government have prioritized because value-addition will go a long way in creating jobs and growing our economy. We can no longer afford to export raw minerals so that they can be beneficiated in other countries. Beneficiation increases the value of our minerals and if we are stuck on exporting raw minerals we will not be able to build an economy that will enable us to create jobs and develop our country and the continent in general,” said Davies.
He added that there were opportunities for investment in the beneficiation of the South African minerals and invited investors attending the session to take advantage of them.
“As a department we are engaged in various initiatives that are aimed at adding value to our minerals. There is a variety of beneficiation projects that offer opportunities for investment,” said Davies.
He listed the development of hydrogen fuel cell-powered busses and vanadium batteries as some of the initiatives aimed at beneficiating South African minerals. The Minister of Mineral Resources, Mr Gwede Mantashe and the Minister of Science and Technology, Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane also addressed the session.
Mantashe spoke about the deepening of stakeholder relations between government, business, labour and communities and the opportunities the policy certainty provided by the mining charter. Kubayi stressed the importance of technology and skills and developing a sustainable mining sector.
Meanwhile, Exxaro Resources Limited committed to investing R20 billion in Limpopo and Mpumalanga, while Vedanta Zinc International committed to phase 2 and to conduct a feasibility to develop a zinc smelter in the Northern Cape.